It is not an overstatement when stating that millions of people have been anxiously waiting for the NCIS season 13 premiere. With one of the best cliffhangers in show’s history – in which Gibbs was shot by Luke Harris – the expectations for the premiere was very high.
The opening of the show was quite fantastic with Jon Cryer as Dr. Taft, who comes in with witty lines as he begins his operation to fix Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). It was also nice to see Muse Watkins come back as Mike Franks, asking Gibbs questions that he doesn’t want to answer right now. Of course, Franks is only seen and heard by Gibbs since Franks have already died few seasons back in the show. With a strong opening and a great new title sequence, I had all the faith that this episode will live up to the high expectations of the viewers.
The scenes with Gibbs and his daughter, Kelly, was very touching and well done. I was hoping that Franks and Kelly would walk Gibbs through the past, helping him look back in a new perspective and move on from the past – make Gibbs vulnerable not just from the injury, but also from the dream he has while he is recovering. While simple, well written words did the job of motivating Gibbs to change, few more scenes like the emotional, character developing scenes of Gibbs and Kelly would have definitely improved the episode.
Another question that the viewers all were waiting for an answer to was: What’s going to happen to Luke Harris (Daniel Zolghadri)? The question was mostly answered with a nicely done, intense scene where we finally find Luke in Shanghai. The best part was that the writers included parts like Luke apologizing and expressing his guilt about shooting Gibbs. The scene of Luke up on the roof, crying with fear and guilt would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Zolgahdri’s fantastic acting. It is incredible that he was able to pull off such a hard scene and ace it! As great as the scenes with Luke were, it was a bit disappointing to see that Luke’s future is only briefly mentioned in one of the last scenes. It would have been great to see Luke and Gibbs meet in person again.
After finishing the episode that I’ve been waiting for about a month now (since I watched it on Netflix), I am left to think about what has happened in the episode. Thinking not about the plot, but about where the creators of the show is going with the show starting next week. When looking past some of my disappointments in the episode and looking at the season as a whole, I have come to realize this: they aren’t done.
If I was making this episode while thinking about the entire season, I just may have done the same thing… shortening Gibbs’s operation scenes, killing Daniel Budd (head of the Calling) abruptly, etc. Such thought occurred because I now believe that as a season, the creators are going to refer back to the near-death experience of Gibbs; the focus would be on not just the physical, but also the psychological effects of the event on Gibbs and his team. It actually makes more sense and is a great way to make the entire season filled with engaging character developments, which are the best parts of the show. I’ve learned a lot about TV and film making just by watching and analyzing well made shows like NCIS. Therefore, looking at the big picture, I’m excited to see and learn from where this new season of NCIS would lead us.